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By: Henz Llarves | Date Posted: May 23, 2022
When it comes to the best 60% mechanical keyboards, there are really only two that come to mind: the Anne Pro and the Vortex Pok3r. Both are highly respected in the mechanical keyboard community, and for good reason. But which one is better?
To answer that question, we have to compare them side-by-side. And that’s exactly what we’re going to do in this article. We’ll be looking at everything from design and build quality, to features and price. By the end, you should have a pretty good idea of which keyboard is right for you.
So, without further ado, let’s get started!
A showdown of some of the hottest mechanical keyboards to own. The Anne Pro and Vortex’s Pok3r (Poker 3) are some of the most well-known 60% mechanical keyboards. And rightly so, they’re both excellent keyboards for their purposes. That’s where both keyboards start to differ in terms of their features.
On one hand, one is built heavy like a tank with good quality components, and refinement from establishing the 60% market. While on the other hand is a keyboard that’s cheap, and lightweight, and that’s because its goal is to be a portable daily driver.
60% mechanical keyboards are my preferred sized keyboards. They offer functionality and at the same time don’t consume too much desk space. Intelligent design and programmability make these keyboards every part as capable as their larger counterparts.
Between the Anne Pro and the Pok3r are quite a lot of shared features. So many that people may struggle to see the difference between the two.
They’re both programmable to an extent, they can both have RGB LEDs as well as PBT keycaps. The use of 60% layouts is cleverly optimized so key shortcuts and full keyboard utility are readily available.
There’s onboard memory on both to save shortcuts, macros, or key layouts. Media keys are available on both keyboards as well as NRKO and Mac compatibility.
Switches are plate mounted on both devices and both keyboards have a standard bottom row. This means replacing the stock keycaps is an easy asset that will cater to their layouts.
It’s the uses and builds quality of these two keyboards where they start to diverge paths. I recommend both of these keyboards for two different reasons. It’s those reasons that you have to consider when looking at both the Anne Pro and the Pok3r keyboards.
With the similarities out of the way, it’s time to focus on how each of these two keyboards differs. Below is a table to highlight the differences between the two.
|Gateron switches||Cherry MX switches|
|Bluetooth as well as cable connectivity||Cable only connectivity|
|Cheaper||Better build quality|
|Plastic case||Aluminium case|
|High profile||Floating key design|
|Double-shot PBT keycaps||Double-shot ABS*|
|Connect multiple devices||On-board programming LED, macro, and key programming|
|App for LED, macro, and key programming||DIP switches for on/off settings toggle|
|Battery life of 2 hours with RGB LEDs and a month without||Switch between QWERTY, Dvorak, and Colemak layouts|
|1 programmable profile||3 programmable profiles|
|RGB LEDs||No LEDs, single color LEDs, RGB LED options|
|Multiple case options||Black and white colors|
|After-market case options are limited due to screw positioning||More after-market case options|
|Music mode that lights up your keyboard to your music|
*Laser-etched PBT for non-backlit and single-color models. Double-shot ABS keycaps come with RGB models.
This is where the Anne Pro shines. Its Bluetooth connectivity with quick connection toggles makes the Anne Pro the ultimate travel companion. Changing connection to a new device is as easy as pressing Fn + 1, 2, 3, or 4.
Bluetooth means a cable is only used for charging or to connect for an improved latency connection. Note: Bluetooth connections aren’t as reliable as wired connections and can have connectivity interference.
The battery life of the Anne pro can vary. Using the RGB LEDs as well as Bluetooth on a high brightness setting will get about 2 hours of battery life. Reducing brightness can get 5 hours of usage out of the 900mAh battery. If you can live without the light show you can get a month of usage from the Anne Pro.
Similarly, when traveling you want to be doing it as lightweight as possible and the Anne Pro caters to this. Coming in at 300gs lighter than the Pok3r, the Anne Pro’s 580g (1.2lb) weight makes it a much more portable keyboard.
The advantages of a Bluetooth connection, as well as a cable connection, are plenty. I can connect the Anne Pro to my laptop, my phone, my TV, and my console. There are lots it can do with many applications that make this a point worth considering. Will I need to send emails from my phone with it, most of the time no, however, if I’m without my laptop with only my phone then the Anne Pro will help. Alternatively, I won’t have to be messing around with cables if I want to lie in bed and search YouTube.
You own multiple devices and would like to switch between them without the hassle of connecting and disconnecting a cable. In fact, cables are a thing of the past to you as you’re part of the cord-free future.
I prefer Gateron switches over Cherry MX. It might not be worth switching from one keyboard to the other but it may be enough inclusion to sway your choice.
Comparing the price of the two 60% keyboards the Anne Pro is quite a bit cheaper. At roughly $50 cheaper than a non-backlit model Pok3r you’ll have to decide if the heavy aluminium case is better suited to you over RGB LEDs. The main drawback is that while color case options do exist, there’s not much in the way of aluminium cases. Though, a group buying for the first aluminium Anne Pro case has happened recently.
Customization options and key/macro programming is easier with the Anne Pro. While the Pok3r is easy to use with its onboard programming, having an app to change configurations on the Anne Pro gives it that edge. With the touch of a few buttons, the Anne Pro can be set up to your liking with ease.
Complex lighting modes and macro profiles can be saved to your Anne Pro with a limit of only one profile at a time. What you can do is save more than one configuration to your phone that way you can have more than 4 profiles ready. Transferring over the profiles is the only downside of saving all these settings to your app.
The music mode is also worth picking the Anne Pro over the Poker, provided your device can use it. When paired you can play the music that will activate the lighting on your Anne Pro.
You get what you pay for. With the Anne Pro using cheaper Gateron switches, a cheaper plastic case, and stabilizers, you end up with a cheap mechanical keyboard. Sure, it’s lightweight and has Bluetooth connectivity, which makes it a better portable companion. However, the Anne Pro is lacking quality components and the build quality that Vortex offers with the Pok3r.
Quality mechanical keyboards ensure that your money is properly spent on a device that will stand the test of time. Spending more on a mechanical keyboard has to be justified and the price difference between these two devices suggests one has something the other doesn’t. The Pok3r’s selling point is how well built it is despite being more expensive, and sometimes double the price(depending on the model).
There’s no rattle with the stabilizers. The keycaps actually feel pretty nice for stock keycaps. Cherry MX switches are more refined, though scratchier than Gaterons, while also lacking the infamous Gateron switch wobble.
The Pok3r uses onboard programming, meaning it can be programmed when connected to any device thanks to its onboard processor. 3 layers of programming allow for readily available toggling rather than having to load a pre-configured profile saved on your phone every time you want to change.
DIP switches on the back of the Pok3r can set the layout from QWERTY to Dvorak or Colemak with the flick of a switch. Caps Lock can be swapped with Fn with one of the DIP switches.
While Fn & Pn positioning can be changed to nearly any position on the keyboard with the other DIP switch.
As Vortex helped to establish the 60% market, after-market cases cater to the Poker line of keyboards more than the Anne Pro. If you prefer the look of a high-profile case or something with a bit more transparency these can easily be acquired. If you prefer a different material you can choose wood, or even marble cases to give your Pok3r a unique and premium look.
Personally, I am a fan of the aluminium case. It’s heavy, sturdy, and makes the sound of each keypress pop. I also think the Pok3r looks better as it’s got a floating key design. When it comes to cleaning and replacing keycaps a floating key design is better than a high-profile case.
You prefer Cherry MX switches due to their refinement and lack of wobble. A premium-feeling keyboard appeals to you and you’re not bothered by a cable connection or heaviness. Having an aluminium case does add value to your typing instrument over a plastic one. The sound of an aluminium case makes the typing experience just that much better.
When it comes to looks the Pok3r looks better. At least in my opinion. The floating key design just looks nicer and with the stock keycaps, the Pok3r is the better-looking keyboard.
If you’re someone who would rather program their keyboard without any software or app, then the Pok3r is well worth considering. The DIP switches on the back offer quick changes without the need to connect the keyboard to anything.
An everyday driver that is portable, just not as portable as the Anne Pro. Which isn’t a bad thing. Weight means stability and the weight of the Pok3r makes it feel like it’s premium and sturdy.
A range of versions of the Pok3r exist. The standard PBT keycap model without backlighting, the single color backlight model, and the RGB model.